June 12, 2018 // 12:35 p.m.
MSI has revealed a bunch of new AMD motherboards for the X399 and B450 chipsets at Computex 2018, as well as an M.2 expansion card onto which up to four M.2 PCIe SSDs can be installed.
Following the announcement of second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors with up to 32 cores, it’s unsurprising to see board manufacturers looking to market new and beefier X399 motherboards. One such product is the MSI MEG X399 Creation prototype, which looks well set to feed those cores with a whopping 19 power phases and dual eight-pin EPS power inputs. The numerous large heatsinks are all fully metal (no plastic covers), and onboard there are 10 PWM fan headers, three M.2 slots each connected to a heatsink, dual Intel LAN ports, and Intel Wi-Fi. We are expecting this board to cost around £400 or even more.
We are also starting to see B450 motherboards appear, and MSI had two ATX models on show utilising this chipset that offers much of what X470 has but at a lower price point. The B450-A Pro will be something of an entry level model probably costing around $100 touting a basic feature set that still includes an M.2 slot, USB 3.1 Gen2, and a Bios Flashback+ button.
Then there’s the B450 Tomahawk with beefier cooling but otherwise what looks like a largely similar feature set. Pricing for this one will be a little higher, but by how much we’re not sure.
Just in case you find yourself where one, two, or even three onboard M.2 slots just aren’t enough, MSI will also be released the M.2 Xpander-Aero expansion card in or around July. It supports up to four full-length (110mm) PCIe M.2 drives, offering each of them full PCIe 3.0 x4 connectivity over a single PCIe 3.0 x16 connector. SATA SSDs are not supported, and the card comes with a GPU-style active Aero cooler sporting a huge heatsink and thermal padding cooled by a single fan.